China, to distinguish emperors’ holiness and supremacy,
the emperors were called “son of heaven”.
Before Qin Dynasty, there were legends about three
“Huang” and five “Di”.
“Huang” and “Di” embrace the meanings of
the supreme gods and ultimate ethnic values.
Combing “Huang” and “Di”, Qin Shu Huang
entitled himself “Huang Di” which meant the emperor.
This title thus was used for all the emperors in
the next two thousand plus years.
“Huang Di” were also called “sons of heaven”.
From ancient Chinese theological theories, the
emperors were born different from the general public.
Stories of the birth of emperors usually contain
some legends or mysteries to back up the whole idea of
emperors were designated by gods.
Han Bronze Figure Paper
During the Western Han Dynasty (BC206 – AD24), Don Chung
Su, a popular thinker, advocated that emperors were sons
They were given orders by heaven to rule the
Therefore, the general public should submit to
emperors completely since emperors were the most lofty and
were given authority to control human lives.
Not surprisingly, he also warned the emperors that
abusing heaven-given authority would lead to punishment
from the gods, such as droughts, floods, earthquakes and
He believed that since emperors were
representatives of the heaven, they should hence employ
policy of benevolence through educating and caring for the